Lunt didn't let the Cowboys loss affect his play on Saturday in helping Rochester to a 41-13 victory over Charleston in a Class 4A semifinal game. The 6-5, 200-pound quarterback completed 12 of 21 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Rockets back to the state championship game. Because of winds gusting up to 45 mph, Lunt only threw two passes in the second half in the semifinal victory.
Rochester was a perfect 14-0 en route to winning the 4A state title a year ago, but it hasn't been that easy this season. The Rockets, 11-2, have trailed in all four of their playoffs games, including falling behind 13-7 in Saturday's semifinal.
The Rockets have faced their share of adversity this season. Lunt, just one of two offensive starters returning from the state championship team, missed the first four games after breaking a bone in his foot before preseason practice even began.
But Lunt says that's what makes the four-week playoff run so special.
"Last year we went 9-0 (during the regular season) and we were expected to make a big run and may be win it. This year we've been the underdog every week and we were picked fifth in the conference and barely make it to the playoffs, and if we made it past week one of the playoffs that would be a success. But we've surprised people. It's been awesome," he said.
Rochester, 11-2, will face Richmond-Burton, 12-1, at 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois.
"I'm super excited. It feels surreal," Lunt said during a telephone interview Sunday night. "You dream about doing it again but to get the opportunity to put yourself in the spot to win it again is awesome."
Lunt has approached each playoff game as if it could be the last of his outstanding career at Rochester High School. But now he knows that Friday night will be his curtain call for the Rockets.
"It's bittersweet," he said. "I've been preparing every week like it could be your last game with a loss. Now I know it will be my last game playing for Rochester High School. It's bittersweet but it's awesome to be in this situation. We're excited and hoping to repeat."
A second consecutive state title would be the perfect way to cap that career.
"Words can't even describe (what another state championship would mean). It's something we've never done at Rochester, obviously. Not many people can say that they've won back-to-back or just two. It would just be unbelievable," said Lunt, who has completed 73.3 percent of his passes (132 of 180) for 1,730 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions this season.